Engage Aotearoa

Tag Archives: Peerzone

Stigma Busting Stories in the Like Minds Newsletter Dec 2012

The December 2012 issue of the Like Minds Newsletter is available online.

The feature article investigates how blogging can help to reduce stigma and discrimination – according to avid bloggers and tangata whaiora, Cate Reddell and Jarno Noordermeer.

Guy Baker tells how sharing his personal story of mental illness has brought him much support from his work colleagues at the Gisborne District Council.

Recent initiative PeerZone is receiving positive feedback about its workshops and is hoping to hold training for facilitators in Australia in 2013.

Auckland artist Andrew Serjeant talks about his art and belief that people with experience of mental illness can contribute greatly to society.

Sheree Veysey gives the lowdown on her Master’s thesis that focuses on how stigma may operate in the complaints process within mental health services.

Kaumatua Kathy Stewart leads you through her story about how she found strength and recovery in helping others after years of depression.

Online NZ Peer Support Programme Launched


PeerZone is shared learning for wellbeing, designed and delivered by and for people with experience of mental distress.  It is a series of three hour peer facilitated face-to-face sessions (learning packages) where participants engage in mutual support, deepen their understanding of their experience and develop tools for wellbeing in all the major life domains. The face-to-face groups are backed up by online resources and a chat facility.

PeerZone is aimed at working age people, particularly younger people with severe mental distress. Their vision is that by the end of this decade, everyone who uses mental health services will be offered some kind of peer led learning and support opportunity.

Mary O’Hagan and Sara McCook Weir developed PeerZone. The learning packages were developed in 2010-2011 and they were piloted in 2011 in Wellington, New Zealand. In 2012 they will organise the initial orientation for facilitators, launch the website, and work to establish PeerZone in New Zealand.